Profiles of Transgender Courage: Tracey Africa Norman
Once she came out to her family she wanted to begin the transition process but was unsure of how to start. One day she reconnected with a former classmate who had been through the process and discovered that many other transgender women at the time resorted to taking birth control pills, without the placebo,(not recommended or advised as a method of self-treatment by any physician) to feminize their bodies. Eventually, she found a doctor who gave hormone shots "under-the-table". After a year of these hormones, she felt comfortable enough walking out the door presenting as female in public.
Norman is also a renowned member of the ballroom dancing community, cementing her place in the Ballroom Hall of Fame in 2001. Laverne Cox stated in the cut cover story "I was just enthralled that there was this black model in the 70's who got a hair contract, who had cosmetic deals. That's a really big deal, for a black model to have contracts, and then for her to be trans is just beyond amazing".
Tracey's experiences are an example of the obstacles many transgender people face when it comes to employment. Many of us are afraid to lose our jobs and decide to hide our transitions from our employers, many who do come out have lost their jobs in the past and even still today. For those of us who are in mid-transition and looking to change jobs or unemployed and transitioning it is difficult to find work. Her bravery is in her perseverance to be successful in every endeavor she enthralled herself in, regardless of the setbacks she has faced.